Utah Gymnast Making Most Of ‘Incredible’ Opportunity To Train With Simone Biles
TOKYO — Grace McCallum, an incoming freshman at the University of Utah, will join Simone Biles as Team USA competes in the women’s gymnastics final on Tuesday, and McCallum’s coach said the Tokyo Games have been an incredible opportunity for her.
“With Simone right now and in my lifetime of coaching and the decades that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen an athlete like her,” said University of Utah gymnastics coach Tom Farden. “And she is the complete package. She is the one who can go out and make new skills and do something that is never thought possible.”
McCallum is one of three Red Rocks who qualified for the Games — joined by Kara Eaker, an alternate who tested positive for COVID-19 in Tokyo and MyKayla Skinner, who saw her run in Tokyo come to an end Saturday after she failed to qualify for any event finals.
You are now and forever an OLYMPIAN, @mykaylaskinner! ❤️🤍💙 #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/FGMXEphxAR
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 26, 2021
She performed well, but due to a rule that only allows two gymnasts per country to qualify for an event, she missed out.
With Skinner retiring after the Tokyo Games, the U.’s attention turns to Eaker and McCallum — both incoming freshmen.
And Farden said the chance for these younger athletes to be on Team USA with Biles, one of the greatest athletes of all time, has been incredible.
Coming up on @KSL5TV! My one on one with @UtahGymnastics Coach Tom Farden as three Red Rocks represent Team USA. His take on Grace McCallum and what she can do to help Team USA bring home gold! 🥇 #Tokyo2020 #OlympicGames #Utah pic.twitter.com/Fp3xIFh1ZJ
— Shara Park (@KSLSharaPark) July 26, 2021
“They get to rub shoulders and train with one of the best our sport has ever seen,” he said. “That’s incredible.”
You can watch McCallum participate in the team final live Tuesday on KSL TV at 4:45 a.m. MDT.
Biles is set to compete in all six finals — team, individual all-around, floor exercise, beam, uneven bars and vault — at the Tokyo Olympics despite an uncharacteristically shaky performance from most of the United States women’s team during qualifications.
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